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For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold

Root River Report

Steelhead at Root River

The following information is the latest fishing information for the Root River in Racine. We will post new information to this site every TUESDAY at 4:00 pm from September through December and from March through May. We will also update the number of fish processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility to give you the exact number of fish passed upstream. Depending on water conditions and number of fish in the weir, fish are usually processed on Mondays and Thursdays.

In addition, you can call our Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline at (414) 382-7920 to hear the latest fishing information for Lake Michigan and its tributaries or check out our Lake Michigan Outdoor Report

Root River Steelhead Facility

Lake Michigan trout and salmon don't successfully reproduce in Wisconsin streams, so DNR gives Mother Nature a hand. Watch fisheries crews collect eggs and milt from spawning fish to create the next generation of steelhead to challenge anglers on the big pond.

Root River Fishing Report for October 27th, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.73 feet last week to 2.48 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 65 cfs to 33 cfs. The water temperature increased from 46F to 53F. The water was relatively clear with visibility at 12-18” from the Horlick Dam downstream to Island Park. Less than .2” of rain has fallen over the past twelve days and the water level at the dam has dropped nearly 12”. The water flowing over the Horlick Dam was down to a trickle on Sunday. Many areas of the river have become shallow once again. A large number of trout and salmon are staging at the mouth of the river and they’re waiting for an increase in the flow rate and water level before moving upstream. The weather forecast calls for .25” rain on Monday and a 30% chance of rain and snow on Friday. Daytime high temperatures over the next seven days will range between 45-71F.

For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of stream flow conditions [exit DNR]  in Wisconsin.

Fishing Information

  • Above the weir: 198 Chinook salmon, 726 coho, and 63 brown trout were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility on Monday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 23. Eight rainbow trout have been captured and released upstream since the Steelhead Facility opened on September 15. Fishing pressure above the weir decreased slightly this week and the catch rate tapered off as well. 40-50 anglers fished at the Horlick Dam Sunday morning. Anglers reported that many of the fish caught were foul hooked and had to be released. Most anglers walked off the river with at least one fish. There were more coho landed at the dam on Sunday than chinook salmon. A few coho, browns, and chinook were landed at Quarry Lake Park during the week but the catch rate was much lower than last week. Black wooly worms, salmon egg flies, and orange egg patterns worked well for a few anglers. Around 20-25 anglers fished at Colonial Park Sunday morning. 6 anglers had good luck landing two 7-12 pound brown trout and two rainbows while casting dark green nymphs. The number of fish captured at the Steelhead Facility decreased this week due to the recent dry weather.  
  • Below the weir: The number of fish moving upstream decreased during the week due to 12 consecutive days with very little rain. The catch rate tapered off as the water level and flow rate decreased. Lincoln Park saw the majority of fishing pressure during the week. 15-20 anglers on average fished in the park on the week days and 30-40 on the weekend. Two 5-6 pound brown trout and a 13 pound king were landed with red and orange yarn flies early in the week. Anglers landed mostly coho and brown trout on the weekend with an average catch rate of one fish per angler. Anglers looking for steelhead trout had little luck fishing with spawn sacks and skein. The spawning run for Chambers Creek steelhead usually starts in November. The fishing pressure decreased in Island Park this week as well. A 6 pound coho was landed on a black wooly bugger and a 19 pound king was taken on red play-doh early in the week. A couple of anglers were seen in Washington Park Monday morning but they didn’t get their lines wet. According to the anglers, the water in Washington Park has been too high and some of the best fishing structure in the park is no longer available.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

DATE: November 4 2014 RIVER TEMP: 50
  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured 11 2,199 1,374 192
Passed Upstream 11 1,646 1,295


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Wednesday November 05 2014